Phillustration 7, Illustration Exhibition at The Philadelphia Sketch Club
Phillustration 7 is an exhilarating exhibition dedicated to illustration in the historic art studio at The Philadelphia Sketch Club. The room is filled with information packed works, pulsing with memes, telling tales and making artistic insinuations to stir the imagination. The top prize went to Tom Leonard for Sea Mammal Alphabet Book, it’s cool to see a Philadelphia artist and educator win since the show has entries juried in from around the country. The panel he created is exquisite in it’s magical realism and information design.
“In the past seven years Tom Leonard has focused his work on children’s books usually with a view toward nature. His recent work combines a folk-art sophistication with a scientifically realistic interpretation. He has illustrated five books for Hyperion and Golden.
Tom Leonard now lives in Philadelphia and teaches illustration at the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia. He regularly goes to schools to discuss his work. His work has appeared in the Graphis Annual and several times in the Society of Illustrators.” – University of the Arts in Philadelphia
Illustrators are interesting people because they communicate visually using the languages of color, character and composition. Making metaphors and messaging with mark making, they possess a skill that is so rarified and refined their influence is felt throughout contemporary culture. For a unique opportunity to experience an exhibition of fine art illustration and an historic Pennsylvania landmark, go see Phillustration 7.
In researching this post I visited the websites of the artists, each one is as exciting and entertaining as any magazine. The breadth of media employed to achieve an artwork that stands on it’s own and promotes an idea, product or position is truly astonishing. The Philadelphia Sketch Club has a long history of presenting fine art exhibitions, providing illustration it’s own venue to share the art and adventure of creating effective commercial art is important.
“Piya Wannachaiwong (that’s P-ya Wanna-chai-wong) was born in Yonkers, New York. He misspent his childhood drawing dinosaurs on paper, kitchen tables, windows, school books and living room walls. He earned his B A in Studio Arts from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA in 2001. Looking for a more thorough art education, he suddenly found himself at the Admissions office of the Academy of Art University in the City by the Bay (San Francisco). Three years later, someone gave him a piece of paper with the letters MFA 2005 on it, tossed him out the door and told him to be useful and get a job.” – Piya Wannachaiwong
“I am currently studying Illustration at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and will be receiving my BFA in Illustration in 2018. I enjoy creating art that tells a story while being both playful and imaginative. Often in my images I ask myself “What is the narrative within the narrative?”, opening the door for multiple colliding stories packed into one fun image. It is this thought process that keeps my illustrations unique and amusing, allowing their viewers to jump in and get lost in my imagery.” – Zachary Manbeck
“Earning their nickname due to their physique, choice of clothing, and a life goal to achieve green skin, Jacqueline a.k.a The Gothic Stringbean is a highly caffeinated, award-winning illustrator currently working on their BFA in Illustration at Moore College of Art and Design. Upon graduation, they plan to travel, listen to some good tunes and be content with a simple life of making good art.
Outside of illustration, some may notice them silently stalking around Philadelphia, PA in colorful polyester and yellow aviators. Otherwise, they like to drink tea, listen to their ever-growing record collection and learn about the wonderful world of the spooky paranormal.” – Jacqueline Hines
Pat Achilles captures that magic moment you always experience when you visit New Hope, the arts community along the Delaware River north of Philly. The atmospheric limited palette and shifty shapes immediately draws the viewer into a story, a ghost story. Sparking the imagination and telling tales is the goal of illustrators, to take us on a trip through a different realm.
“Pat Achilles is an award-winning illustrator with over 20 years of experience in corporate, advertising, book and editorial illustration. Her styles range from highly realistic to humorous cartoons to children’s literature. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, where she was taught by the delightful Beth and Joe Krush and Bob Byrd. Pat is a co-founder of the Bucks County Illustrators Society and gives presentations on ‘What Authors Should Know about Book Illustration,’ geared especially for children’s book writers, and ‘Marketing for Illustrators.’ She is an adjunct professor in the illustration department at Moore.” – Pat Achilles
This kid, Phillustration 7 through November 27th, 2015, The Philadelphia Sketch Club
Robert Bohne told me a story about when he was a kid an uncle took him to the Sketch Club and he knew right away he would be a member one day. Now Bob monitors a popular costumed life model workshop on Thursday afternoons, guiding and advising some of Philly’s finest artists that come to the club to draw and paint. I was drawing at Bob’s workshop last week and the energy and excellence of the artwork around me pushed me to really see what I was looking at and make marks that mean something. The Philadelphia Sketch Club’s President Rich Harrington chaired the exhibit and achieved a level of excellence that, for me, is transformative in it’s exploration of fine illustration.
The Philadelphia Sketch Club Gallery hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, 235 South Camac Street, Philadelphia PA, 19107
Phillustration 7 through November 27th, 2015.
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Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.
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